TOM GOES TO THE MAYOR, a new animated comedy series from creators Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim and exec producer Bob Odenkirk, redefines limited animation with its odd mix of photoreal cutouts in a fully-realized suburban environment. The half-hour comedy joins Cartoon Networks Adult Swim on, Nov. 14, 2004, at 11:30 pm.
Tom Peters is a would-be entrepreneur in the eccentric small town of Jefferton who constantly brings his crackpot ideas to The Mayor, who invariably endorses them. In its laid-back fashion, TOM GOES TO THE MAYOR satirizes government machinations, provincial thinking and tragically misguided civic pride. Toms ideas turn out expensive and calamitous.
Heidecker and Wareheim, write, direct, exec produce and also provide voices for the two main characters. Odenkirk (MR. SHOW WITH BOB & DAVID, THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW) is exec producer. Odenkirk, David Cross, Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Patton Oswalt, Jeff Goldblum and Jeff Garlin will provide guest voices for the towns assortment of oddballs and bureaucrats.
Heidecker and Wareheim first collaborated in college at Temple University, helping each other out on film and video coursework. After graduation, they continued to work together on strange short films and do standup comedy in New York and Philadelphia. One of their first projects, TOM GOES TO THE MAYOR, a short, dry conversation about a proposed buffet restaurant, was included in Penn Universitys Institute of Contemporary Art and selected by the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema as a short film. In 2001, Tim and Eric they sent Tom several others shorts to all their comedy heroes, including Odenkirk. He liked it and developed TOM GOES TO THE MAYOR with them as a TV series.
Wareheim hooked up AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE co-creator Dave Willis at an Adult Swim party in Philadelphia. Willis took their short compilation to the Adult Swim offices where it eventually floated up to Mike Lazzo, Cartoon Networks svp responsible for Adult Swin. He loved TOM GOES TO THE MAYOR and asked them to pitch the show. They got development funded and Odenkirk came on board. They used their development money to move to Hollywood and work on the show full time.
Lazzo liked the pilot script and ordered 13 episodes. Heidecker and Wareheim joined Odenkirk, and his production company, Dipshot Films, and hired a crew.
TOM GOES TO THE MAYOR is so limited, it can barely be termed animation, resembling more a graphically stylized art film. Heidecker and Wareheim take still photographs of real actors, then processing them with a computer filter to turn them into detailed linear sketches. The various still poses are strung together to tell the story, kind of like a school filmstrip for those who can remember them. There are no mouth movements -- no lip flap -- and very little actual movement of arms, legs and objects are used.
The themes are adult, sophisticated political humor with static pacing that seems encumbered by the string of snapshots that can never synch with the sound a dialogue. Its definitely an experimental film experience and quirky approach that certainly demonstrates what an interesting, against-the-grain experience viewers enjoy in this late night comedic block for adults.
Supervising producer is D.J. Paul while Dino Stamatopolous is creative consultant. Art director is Kevin Gallegly, Alex Zabolotsky is lead artist. Jonathan Krisel is senior editor and Chris McDonnell is editor. Heidecker does the voice of Tom and Wareheim provides the voice of The Mayor while Stephanie Courtney voices Renee the Receptionist and Toms shockingly obese wife, Joy. Sound designer is Geoff Green and music is composed by Davin Wood.
Cartoon Network (CartoonNetwork.com), currently seen in 87.1 million U.S. homes and 160 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System Inc.s ad-supported cable service offering 24/7 animated entertainment.